The images in the media of endangered refugees from war-torn Syria may seem like a distant nightmare to some. But to volunteers with the non-profit Spectra Project, the devastating impact of the crisis hits close to home.
Based in San Francisco, the Spectra Project helps LGBTQ individuals in their countries of origin, and/or refugees in any country, by providing them with the necessary support and tools to reach self-sustainability.
The dire situation in Syria motivated Transit Systems Engineering's Sr. Vice President and Operations Manager Paul Van Der Wel to take action. He has made both a personal donation and contributed to Spectra Project via TSE's "Good Neighbor" program, which makes quarterly donations to community charitable efforts supported by TSE employees.
Syria is currently amid the largest ongoing refugee crisis in the world, with more than 5.4 million refugees displaced since war broke out in 2011. "Hundreds of thousands of refugees are in harm's way, especially those living in the urban centers of countries of transit, like Turkey," says Van Der Wel. "Many LGBTQ refugees are especially at risk due to the prejudices and homophobia that exist in refugee host countries and countries of transit alike. Spectra Project's focus is to provide basic emergency support and education to LBGTQ refugees. I felt like I had to do something to help, which is why I have personally donated to the Spectra Project and had TSE contribute to the cause via its quarterly community engagement program."
TSE encourages its employees to engage in their local communities through the company's "Good Neighbor" program, which makes a donation to various employee charitable efforts every quarter.
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Emeryville, with satellite offices nationwide, Transit Systems Engineering is a global provider of transit system solutions. You can learn about several other TSE projects here.